Ricotta Gnocchi

I’m happily stuck in a ricotta gnocchi rut, only occasionally contemplating that I should attempt to make traditional potato gnocchi. I love potato gnocchi, having enjoyed it at many restaurants, our favorite at a tucked-away, family restaurant in Provo, Utah, its Naples-born patriarch recreating his Naples-grandmother’s creation, every Thursday night. But when it comes to putting the peeler to the potato, I picture my family sitting around the dinner table – scrunched up noses and narrowed eyes, asking, “Are these YOUR gnocchi?” Traditions come in many forms, shapes and sizes, and without a doubt, ours is gnocchi made from ricotta cheese.


Pork Sausage & Cherry Oven Pancake

Cherry Sausage Slice One of my favorite breakfast restaurants was Dutch-themed, specializing in oven pancakes called “pannekoekens”. Their egg-rich batter, nearly identical to that of popovers, gougeres, or Yorkshire pudding, was poured into pre-heated cast iron pans, baked at higher than normal temperatures. Together, moist batter and heat, created internal steam providing the lift and loft – same idea as popovers – the batter rising in a golden cloud above the pan.


Indian Pudding

Indian Corn Pudding Pic A family favorite for many years, Indian Pudding dates back to Colonial America.

Indian pudding is a baked custard made from corn meal and milk, eggs and spices, and is sweetened by dark, rich molasses. According to “America’s Founding Food” authors Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald, colonists used the word “Indian” when referring to corn or corn meal, not the indigenous peoples. This corn pudding became popular among colonial cooks around the time of this country’s independence. Culinary Institute of America


New England Boston Baked Beans Sharon Style

Baked Beans Pic One bite of Boston Baked Beans at Boston’s historic Durgin Park (their slogan: Established Before You Were Born), I realized my bean recipe needed some improvement. Everything I’d ever heard about Yankees making the best pot of beans was true. I knew part of their flavor was due to molasses (gets the nutrition nod from Weston Price Foundation, as long as it is unsulphured) and brown sugar, onions, and pork. But Durgin Park’s Boston Baked Beans had something else, a “warmth” and flavor that gave it a more complex “wow” factor.

Several baked bean batches and journeys back to the restaurant, to figure out what my recipe was missing – none of the batches I’d made had that certain special “wow” factor – one of the waitresses finally took pity on me, suggesting, “Why don’t you buy our recipe book?”


Green Enchiladas

Cilantro Enchilada Pic It’s really a good thing everyone in my family shares my love for cilantro. If they didn’t, they’d miss out on some tasty meals.

I made a variety of salsas last summer, with cilantro as a foundation. Mango and blueberry salsa graced freshly grilled fish, pineapple salsa spiced up roasted pork, peach salsa gave a Moroccan twist to lamb chops, and a favorite of my children, watermelon salsa cooled down spicy chipotle fish tacos.

Many of our favorite Thai, Caribbean and Mexican foods depend on cilantro, but our “Favorite Cilantro Recpes” would be my Green Enchiladas. The original was a reduction of cilantro, onions, garlic in chicken broth, simmered until it reached the stage of a medium dry paste that was then spread over stuffed and rolled tortillas. Although tasty, all the goodness and living vitality was simmered to death. I have reworked the recipe, turning into a fresher, richer, more nutritional version, retaining cilantro’s color and flavor.


Wise Women Build Their House

Dairy Maid The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands. Prov 14:1

I’ve invested the last seven years, building new floors on my house. My tools are not a hammer, saw or blueprints, but instead, Mason glass “canning” jars, dehydrators, and studying traditional food preparation and preservation techniques.

Foolish women began tearing down their houses in the late 1800’s, and have continued up to this day, placing careers over children, processed foods over cooking, giving up gardens and traditional food preservation methods – smoking, fermenting, drying – for that of industrial-produced dead-nutrient substances euphemistically called “food”.


Quark By Any Other Name.....Is Still A Curd

…and because of the abundance of the milk produced he will eat curds, for everyone that is left within the land will eat curds and honey… Isaiah 7:22

Raw Dairy Poster What do you get when you combine three half-gallons of fresh, raw, grass-fed milk, with an extended power outage?

Curds!

And whey!

Every once in awhile, some good comes from New England’s downed power lines!

Whey, in the mind of most moderns, is a by-product of cheesemaking, dumped as waste, or fed to livestock. But, when it is made with real, raw milk – the kind cows make from eating grass – whey is wonderfully healthy and has a wide variety of uses.


Chocolate Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding Small

“Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder”, one of many traditional Swedish sayings, muttered under my grandmother’s breath, was practical in its wisdom. My interpretation of, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing”, was, “Stop complaining, and put on a warmer sweater if you’re cold.” Wise!

“Låt maten tysta munnen”, another of her favorites, interpreted by my heart as, “A big, bad snowstorm is coming, so Grandma’s making a hot rice pudding for her beloved, precious grandchildren”, was, in reality: “Let the food quiet the mouth.” Children trapped inside a house, during a storm, can be high energy!


Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower What does a cauliflower, some grated Gruyere cheese and a dash of Cognac have in common? Read more to find out…….


Turkey Gravy, But No Drippings?

Juicy Tender Turkey

We shouldn’t have been surprised, but we were, that the turkeys came out every bit as flavorful and juicy as when they’d spent 24-hours in a brine. I know it helped that our turkeys were organic, pastured (think grass, sun, bugs, running through the cow fields), giving them a huge advantage over factory-farm corn & soy fed creatures. The other credit is absolutely owed to the Traeger grill’s convection oven style of cooking which does a better job than other type of grills, sealing in the juices.

Now, to the problem. Whether deep-frying or grilling, we never had “yum yums” – Emeril’s term for caramelized bits of fat and meat, loaded with rich flavor – left over on the bottom of a oven-roasting pan because, well, we no longer had a roasting pan. No roasting pan meant, no gravy.